10 Things to Know Before Moving to Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks is a wonderful city with much to offer. Have you thought about moving here? Today, I’m here to talk to you about the top 10 things you should know before moving to Thousand Oaks.

Safest City in California 2020

Thousand Oaks is a very safe place to live. I mean, it’s really safe. Way back in the year twenty twenty, the website Safety dot com, ranked Thousand Oaks as the number one safest city in California for its size. They factored in a combination of both public safety and economic safety to reach this conclusion.

I have been in Thousand Oaks a lot during my life. I grew up just one city over, and my grandma lived in Thousand Oaks for most of her life. I have personally never felt threatened or felt in danger within the city of Thousand Oaks. But that is strictly anecdotal. So here are some numbers. I know, you probably didn’t come here thinking there would be math. Sorry.

In regard to violent crimes, which includes murder, rape, robbery, or assault, Thousand Oaks ranks extremely well. Only one in about one thousand six hundred and forty-nine people are victims of violent crime in a given year. Compare that to the greater state of California, where one in two hundred and twenty-seven are victims of a violent crime every year. That’s over seven times what we have here in Thousand Oaks.

In regard to property crimes, we still rank pretty high. Victims of burglary, theft, or motor vehicle theft is about one in ninety-five here in Thousand Oaks, compared to one in forty-seven within the state of California.

So according to safety dot com, when the numbers were all tallied up, Thousand Oaks came out above and beyond every other city in the state. Not bad Thousand Oaks.

Borderline Shooting

Although the city was considered the safest in twenty twenty, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to tragedy. As we witnessed on November seventh, two thousand eighteen, when a mass shooting took place at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country western bar frequented by local college students. Thirteen individuals were killed on that terrible day, including the perpetrator, and one police officer, and another twelve victims were also injured during the attack.

The event really shook up the community, which had never experienced anything like this before. On a more personal note, it was quite a shock to me as well. I didn’t know any of the victims personally, but Borderline has always been a fixture in the community since way back before I was in high school. At the time of the shooting, I still knew people that would regularly go to Borderline, so it could have easily been someone I knew. We hear about shootings like this all the time, it’s gotten to the point that many are desensitized to them. But to have one so close, and within your own community, it’s a real shock to the system. And it’s a scar on this community that won’t soon heal.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

On a lighter note… Thousand Oaks is home to some great attractions. The first being the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, a three-acre city complex that combines serene meadowland and park like vistas with a bustling entertainment center. At the center of this all is the Performing Arts Center.

Officially known as The Bank of America Performing Arts Center, it is the largest performing arts center between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Boasting the eighteen hundred seat Fred Kavli Theatre for the performing arts and the three hundred and ninety-four seat Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. The theatres combine outstanding arts and entertainment with state-of-the-art technology and acoustics. Over three hundred thousand patrons, and fifty thousand children attend more than four hundred performances annually.

They’ve got everything there. Whether you are in the mood for a Broadway musical, international ballet, folk and modern dance companies, classical symphonies, distinguished speakers, film, live theatre. I mean, I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. To enhance the theatre experience, the Fred Kavli Theatre Lobby also doubles as a fine art gallery. Here’s a link to the calendar of events and ticket information.

Gardens of the World

Across the street from the Civic Arts Center is the Gardens of the World. This privately owned garden complex was created as a gift to the city of Thousand Oaks by owners Ed and Lynn Hogan. The entire complex is over four and a half acres, and consists of five distinct garden styles, Japanese, French, English, Italian, and California Mission.

Each of the gardens is secluded enough from the others that they feel private, perfect for anyone who wants to sit on a bench, relax, and take a break from the day. Each section is filled with a lush collection of plants that accent the various styles and evoke the various cultures that they represent.

The Gardens of the World is free to the public and is open from Tuesday through Saturday from nine a.m. to five p.m.

Jungleland USA

Way back in nineteen twenty-five, a little-known Hollywood animal trainer by the name of Louis Goebel purchased one hundred and seventy acres of what would eventually become Jungleland USA for the low low price of fifty dollars. The then vacant land, which is now partially home to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and easily worth tens of millions of dollars today, probably more, was first used in nineteen twenty-six as a support facility for Universal Studios where Goebel’s trained five showbusiness lions.

Originally known as Goebel’s Lion Farm, and then Goebel’s Wild Animal Farm, it was officially opened to the public in nineteen twenty-nine under the name of Jungleland USA. The theme park was home to a variety of exotic animals, the most famous being Leo the Lion, who you may recognize from the beginning of every Metro Goldwyn Mayer production. It was also home to Mister Ed, the talking horse, and if you know who that is, you are probably as old, or older than I am.

Jungleland USA remained open until October of nineteen sixty-nine, due to competition from other southern California amusement parks, and not really blending in with the ever increasing urbanization of the Thousand Oaks area.

It’s Just Outside Los Angeles

Like all cities in the Conejo Valley, Thousand Oaks is located just outside of Los Angeles This means that there are less people around, and much less traffic, but you are still close enough to take advantage of all those things that LA has to offer.

Pretty much everything in Los Angeles is within an hour of Thousand Oaks. The airport, Dodger stadium, both about an hour. Santa Monica, also an hour. Hollywood and the Getty are both about forty-five minutes.  And Malibu is about thirty minutes over the mountains, where Pepperdine University is located, and the amazing Zuma beach. In Thousand Oaks, you have access to pretty much everything.


Amgen is an American multinational biopharmaceutical company that is headquartered in the city of Thousand Oaks. Established in nineteen eighty, it is now one of the largest independent biotechnology companies in the world, and as of twenty seventeen, it accounts for around seven and a half percent of the cities total employment. As of twenty twenty, the company showed a profit of over twenty five billion dollars. I suppose it’s safe to say that Amgen won’t be closing up shop any time soon.

The Oaks Mall

The Oaks Mall has been a fixture in the city of Thousand Oaks since it was first constructed in nineteen seventy-eight. And it’s the largest mall in Ventura County with over one million, three hundred thousand square feet of retail space.

In two thousand and seven, the mall underwent an extensive upgrade including a renovation of the original interior, as well as a huge outdoor extension that included various restaurants including the Lazy Dog Café and Red Robin, and a state of the art, fourteen screen AMC movie theater.

The mall has a lot to offer in variety, but the major stores include a Nordstrom, Macy’s, and a J.C. Penney.

Oak Trees

Thousand Oaks is home to thousands of oak trees, and it is where it gets its name. As of twenty twelve, it was estimated that there were between fifty and sixty thousand oak trees within the city. But it hasn’t always gone by that name. For around fifty years starting in the eighteen seventies, the area was known as the Conejo Mountain Valley. It wasn’t until the nineteen twenties that a fourteen-year-old boy named Bobby Harrington won a naming contest, by suggesting the name Thousand Oaks. When the city was incorporated in nineteen sixty-four, the name Thousand Oaks was voted on by an overwhelming eighty seven percent of the city’s residents.

The trees that give the city its name are also a protected species within the city of Thousand Oaks. Any variety of oak tree with a diameter over two inches is protected. So, no digging up, or disturbing oak trees, you could face a hefty fine.

Majestic Oak Trees are classified as trees with a trunk diameter of at least three feet when measured at four and a half feet above the ground. The largest majestic oak tree within the city has a trunk diameter of twelve feet and is located at the Chumash Center on Lang Ranch Parkway. Now that, is a big tree.

Wildwood Regional Park

The Wildwood Regional Park is a seventeen hundred and sixty five acre regional park, and is home to over twenty seven miles of hiking trails. It is located at the Northwest edge of the city at the end of Avenida De Los Arboles. Wildwood Regional Park is a park for everyone. It is the best place in Thousand Oaks for people who love nature and site-seeing, those who love watching animals, and those who love outdoor activities.

Some highlights of the park are Paradise Falls, a seventy-foot waterfall, Arroyo Conejo Creek, which is the longest creek in all of Conejo Valley, and The Lizard Rock, a serrated volcanic outcropping in the Mount Clef Ridge.

The park is open every day from seven a.m. until dusk.

Michael Tilford Image

Michael Tilford


Mike is a native of Ventura County, having been born in raised in Camarillo. After a decade of traveling and living abroad, Mike now calls Simi Valley home. He works full time as a Real Estate agent, and is a frequent contributor to ilocal365. View Profile

Related Posts